tv Face the Nation CBS December 23, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EST
>> schieffer: today on "face the nation," christmastime in washington but not much christmas can cheer at the capitol. old santa tried to reward congressional inaction with a lode of coal, but wouldn't you know there was no one around to give it to. congress skedaddled when the deal on the fiscal cliff collapsed. the national rifle association's top command did stay in town to ask the question we've all been asking. >> what do we do about the tragedy of the sort that struck in newtown connecticut? >> schieffer: but their response left gun control advocates reeling. we'll talk to the profit n.r.a., wayne keene. and we'll hear from senator mark warner of virginia, and kay
bailey hutchison of texas. we'll also talk to the first black senator from the south since reconstruction, newly designated south carolina senator tim scott. plus, we'll hear from actor ben affleck on, among other things, reports he may seek the senate seat being vacated by john kerry. who has just been nominated to be the next secretary of state. >> well, one never knows. i'm not one to get into conjecture. >> schieffer: why not? we do, because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and good morning, again. we start this morning with david keene, who is the president of the national rifle association. friday the n.r.a. made its first public station since the newtown
shooting and the reaction from the gun control vacation was scathing, no reaction there. lloyd grove of the "daily beast" summed up the reaction by saying the reviews were so brutal they would close a broadway show on opening night. this was news conference a mistake, mr. keene? >> not at all. and, fortunately, we're not on broadway. this isn't a joke. you know, we remained silent right after newtown because we didn't think it was appropriate to comment at time. but now we've come out and looked at it and the question on everybody's minds we tried address is what do you do to prevent this from happening in the future? you know, it was interesting bob, because that week i was in israel. and they had a spate of school shootings in the 70s and they decided they needed to have security at their schools. they started out with volunteers. they eventually institutional tides and now they have armed security at the schools and they stopped the problem. in this country-- and although the reaction from our critic was, well, this is a crazy
idea. the fact is, 23,000 schools right now have armed security guards. they have them in chicago. they have them in many schools in virginia. it was propose bideed by bill clinton the year after the columbine shooting and they set up legislation called cops in the school program. has not been fully funded. a lot of schools don't have it. what we were saying is really the question that parents across this country are asking is how do we protect our kids? >> schieffer: a couple reactions. the president of the international association of police chiefs says, number one this is totally impractical. he says he happens to be the chief in the freemont, california. he said if you put police officer in every school in freemont, he'd have to put half his police force there. we all know the budget constraints that all these governments are under. on the other side, the president of the national education association says we do not need guns in schools period.
>> well, they need protection. the kids need protection. bill clinton thought they needed protection. the israelis have tested it, and it works there. you know, what we've suggested that each school district and each school administrator look at the problem that they face. right now you have a mix. you have federally funded officers in many schools. you have a mix of funding in other schools sprup volunteers in some place where's administrators are armed with concealed carry and all that. we're not saying that it ought to be this or that, that one size fits all program will work. what we are saying is the first obligation that we have is to protect our children and the way do you that is you look at the problem. and know-- >> schieffer: don't you try to also try to get some of these guns off the streets get some of these guns out of markets? every study shows that when a society-- the fewer the guns, the less homicides. >> that's not true.
>> schieffer: well, actually, it is true. that comes from the harvard school of public health. its studies show conclusively that there are more firearms when-- when there are more firearms there are more homicides. in awe straightia, we have seen-- in australia we have seen homicides go down tremendously. >> i understand we're not talking about australia. but in fact the homicide rate in australia and the united states during that same period was dropping at roughly the same percent annual. we have the lowest homicide rate we've had in decades. >> schieffer: but the reason that we have fewer homicides right new more people are getting shot. the number of people getting shot is up 20%. homicides are down for the same reason that deaths are down on the battlefield. you have better emergency room coverage. you have better medicine. >> and that's good. but, you know, thinking of this whole-- you know, in 2010, the f.b.i. statistics show that more people in this country were beaten to death than were killed
by long guns of all kinds including the so-called assault weapons. now, anybody killed by any method say tragedy. i'm not arguing that it isn't. what i am saying, bob, is that when you look at the problem-- let's say we pass dianne dianne feinstein's bill, how would that stop the next school shooting? it wouldn't. because it doesn't take guns off the street, and if you did you couldn't. so that doesn't solve the problem. >> schieffer: but doesn't it make it more difficult? mr. keene-- >> it doesn't-- >> schieffer: if a man had talked about that school in connecticut with a baseball bat he might have given a couple of people a concussion, but all those children would not be dead. >> well, you know, the fact that something is misused whether it's a baseball bat or the mass killing in a chinese school with an axe and a knife doesn't mean that you ban baseball bats, axes and knives or guns. >> schieffer: nobody is saying-- >> it means suprotect the innocent on one exphawnd try to keep weapons out of the hands of
those who are likely to commit such crimes. one of the problems and this is reflected in public attitudes is what's wrong with our mental health system? because a lot of these people are not even-- are not even-- when they've been seen as having problemes, nobody does anything about it. in connecticut it's very difficult to have outpatient treatment because of a.c.l.u. lawsuits. i'm not saying that every mental patient is a potential killer. i'm not saying that everybody that watches a video is a potential killer. that's not true. but neither is everybody who owns a gun is a potential killer. >> schieffer: of course they're not. i had a gun when i was 12 years old. i got a double-barreled shotgun-- >> you still have it? >> schieffer: what i'm saying is shouldn't we be putting these things on a higher shelf so the mentally ill and the derraged people can't get to them? and to do that you're going to have to tighten this up. it is harder for me to get a driver's license than it would be to buy a gun. why is that a good thing?
well you're-- you ought to be able to get a driver's license at your can age glefd do you know what i had to do to get a driver's license? let me just tell you what i had to do. i had to go to the doctor and get a complete physical. i had to go to another doctor to get an eye test, and then i had to go down and take the driver's test. i got a driver's license. i don't mind doing that. i think that's a good thing. why should i be able to just drive to virginia and buy myself a gun? >> well, there's a difference between a driver's license-- driving is a privilege and owning a firearm which is a constitutional right. the government has to show why you couldn't should a right to exercise your second amendment rights. there are people who aren't allowed to buy firages fellons minors, and that's all legitimate. we have since the late 1960s have been urging those people adjudicated to be mentally ill be included in the national database. when you buy a gun bob you go to the store and there's an instant check.
23 states have not put any of that data in there-- in many kazs -- glief don't disagree away ought to have some record of those people but shouldn't we also have a record of people who have firearms. >> i think not. we know we check them. in this country we don't like to maintain huge databases of everybody. we have privacy rights, we have constitutional rice rice. >> schieffer: we also have to show identification when we get on an airplane. >> sure we do. >> schieffer: do you think that's a bad thing? >> i don't think that's a bad thing, no. when you buy a giyou are checkedly in the instant check system and airfare period of time they can't maintain that as a federal if gun registry, but they check you when you buy that firearm and you should. >> schieffer: what about when you go to a gun show? >> when you go to a gun show, bob, 98% of the guns you buy there are also checked, because
most of the people who have tables at gun slows dealers. >> schieffer: don't you agree we should tighten it up-- >> a private purchaser from another individual is different. >> schieffer: let me ask you "the rubber hits the road" question. will you oppose as the national rifle association any attempt to time the gun laws, to do what even the international association of police chiefs says is a good idea, to ban these military-style assault weapons? will you oppose that? will you continue to oppose that? >> we will continue to oppose a ban on semiautomatic weapons that are used for perfectly legitimate purposes. these aren't military weapons. if we equipped our army with the ar-15 we'd be beaten by every third world-- you know, every third world dictatorship in the country. military weapons fully automatic weapons and that's illegal. you don't get those. that's not what we're talking about. the impression often is, bob that is what we're talking about, but it isn't. we're talking about sporting arms-- you know the ar-15 is the
highest selling-- >> schieffer: how many rounds can these weapons discharge say, in five seconds? >> well, they fire when you put trigger. >> schieffer: sure and they keep firing. >> just as your shotgun-- not your shotgun bout most shotguns do. >> they don't keep firing. that's a fully automatic weapon. these are not fully automatic weapons. >> schieffer: but these are dangerous. even justice scalia in the opinion that said everybody has a right to own a gun said that there should be no doubt that this should not interfere with putting limits on what he called unusual weapons. >> any constitutional right any constitutional guarantee the first amendment you can't yell fire in a crowded feature theert. second amendment reasonable restriction against fells expontz others are there. in the it next few years, there are going to be dozens of lawsuits brought to say what is and what isn't reasonable restrictions. we'll argue those and we're perfectly willing to. today, bob the question isn't
how many bullets are going to fit in a magazine. is the gun somebody has got ugly or not ugly? the question is can we keep guns out of the hands of people who are potential killerses. that's hard because they're hard to identify. and can we protect ourselves kids? that's what it's about. that's what we're trying to respond to. that's what the public wants. it's something that's been proven. it's something that bill clinton has suggested. it's something we think is necessary. now, that can be funded by the federal government, the state government. you have have volunteers, it can be done by districts but every school district ought to look at it and say we have these kids in our charge during the day and we need to have awe plan to protect them. >> schieffer: i think it is a question that is certainly worth exploring but what i found odd about your news conference-- and maybe it's my bias, i don't know what it is-- but i found it odd that when you came on television at this news conference friday, you seemed to blame the mentally
ill. you seemed to blame hollywood. you seemed to blame the media the video game manufacturers. you did not seen to think that your policies have had anything at all to do with this. >> we don't think they have. >> schieffer: you see no responsibility? you don't see-- >> we're 35th a country a free country in which people have a right to exercise their second amendment rights. we're living in a country where in the last few decades as gun ownership has increased violent crime has fallen. what we have though in this country-- in any country-- a percentage of people who are frankly, either evil or crazy. and the question is how do you prevent them from acting out their fantasies or their desires? that's a problem. now, we can't condemn and we don't condemn the mentally ill. most people that are mentally ill are not a threat to anybody. but what we are saying is that those people who are potentially dangerous-- and in many cases including school shertz-- the people have been tagged as being
potential dangers. >> schieffer: let me just ask you this-- if you claim the media, video games hollywood are the main problems, then why are gun deaths in every other industrialized nation, including canada germany, great britain japan, france-- why are their gun deaths so much lower than ourselves? i mean, john howard, a very conservative prime minister-- former prime minister of australia said we don't want the american disease in australia. why is it that all these other countries don't seem to have this problem? >> well, they have soo they have a homicide problem. they have a violent crime problem. in britain it's four times what ours is. they don't have as many guns. that doesn't prevent killing. it doesn't prevent mayhem. it doesn't prevent violent crime. >> schieffer: you don't really believe people armed with baseball pats batcan somehow kill more people than people armed with guns. >> in this country more people are beaten to death than are killed by long guns. >> schieffer: the people who
are surviving gunshot wounds now, it's because we have better medical help, david for the same reason-- >> that's good. >> schieffer: yes it's good. it's the same reason more of our people are surviving on the battlefields but that's not the end of it. why do you-- why are you so against-- i know the things you're for-- why are you so against trying to tighten these laws making it harder to buy guns? >> we're willing to debate those questions. i think they should. we should. they're important policy questions, but the first thing we have to do it protect our kids. we're willing to debate the whole question of these semi-automatic so-called swawl weapons. >> schieffer: you are? >> we debated it before. we had a assault assault weapons ban for 10 years. we had what senator feinstein is suggesting. it was allowed to expire. the f.b.i. together, justice department, other ands who studied it said it made no difference. so if we're looking at things that are effective, let's talk
about it. but first let's talk about protecting our kids. >> schieffer: all right. david keene, thank you very much. >> my pleasure, bob. >> schieffer: another good to see you. we're going to turn next to two senators who have top ratings from the n.r.a., virginia democrat mark warner, and in dallas, texas republican kay bailey hutchison. i'm going to start with senator hutchison. senator hutchison you represent a state that loves its guns. there's no question about that. my home state of texas. what do you make of what david keene just said? do you think it's time to do some things other than what he's advocating, and that is putting more police in the schools? >> oh, i do-- bob i have to say, i don't object to having more armed policemen in schools. i certainly think that at the local level they should make this decision. because that is going to be accepted in some places and not accepted in some places. so i think that is it one part
of a big picture that we need to look at. i think certainly security in our schools including one entrance one entrance schools. >> schieffer: what about-- what about other things, senator? do you see other things that could be done here? i think senator hutchison has somehow lost contact with us here. senator warner, you're here. you're a democrat. you always get a top rating from the n.r.a. what do you think about what mr. keene just said? do you think it's time to kind of move ahead and do some other stuff? >> bob i'm troubled by-- and i apologize about my voice. i think this may be a divine intervention because we didn't deal with the fiscal cliff. >> schieffer: you think that's punishment? >> punishment for not doing our job. but i was proud of the fact that i always had an "a" rating from the n.r.a.
i own firearms. i think people ought to be able to legally hunt and target shoot. but i know when the crisis hits, my three college daughters came home and said, "dad, you work up there. what are you going to do?" and to me, simply saying existing gun laws are enough, the status quo is acceptable, just didn't pass my gut check as a father. and when i hear from the n.r.a. it is there may be some additional schools but where do we stop? are we then going to go in preschools? are we going to go into parochial schools? if my memory is correct there actually was an armed individual at columbine years ago and it didn't prevent that tragedy. i think we need a comprehensive approach. i don't have a specific bill right now. i'll look at all the proposals. i think it looks at mental health. i think it looks at protecting our schools but i also think it looks at these high-volume magazines, you know, that can fire off so many rounds.
if some of these-- we can't stop every crazy person from taking on actions. but there are as you were trying to point out with the earlier guest 30,000 deaths, gun-related deaths a year in america. no single law is going to stop all of those. but if we can cut it in half, or cut it by 20% or even cut it by a tenth that's still thousands of lives. and maybe we wouldn't have some of those horrible images as we see right now these children being buried. >> schieffer: i think we reestablished communications with texas. senator hutch son you were talking about you do suggest at least schools being able to put police in schools if they think it's needed. but how about some of these other things? what about this idea of a ban on assault weapons? what about as senator warn ser talking about restricting the sales of these magazines that have 30 rounds in a clip? how do you feel about that? >> you know, i think we ought to be looking at where the real danger is, like those large
clips. i think that does need to be looked at. we do have a ban on assault weapons, as was stated earlier. but it's the semiautomatic and those large magazines that can be fired off very quickly. you do have to pull the trigger each time, but it's very quick. i think we should be looking at those mega-opportunities as one of the things that might be looked at. and we need to talk to real hunters who say what is a sporting rifle capability that continues this for? we need to talk to people in all areas. but, bob what hasn't been mentioned, you know, in this conversation is also the violence in our society. what children and kids are seeing even on p.g. movies and these video games like "black
ops 2" and those kinds of things. i mean, really, we have a more violent society in general and i think a lot of it has to be looked at in that framework. >> schieffer: let me ask you senator warner, what is the romance of these assault-style weapons? i mean, i've-- like senator hutchison, i know a lot of people that hunts but i don't know anybody that goes hunting with one of those? what's the fascination with it? >> you know, bob i don't know, either. i've shot some of these weapons on shooting ranges, but the idea that you might have to simply reload after a clip of 10 shells does not seem to be an undue infringement. again, that's not going to be a perfect solution but it ought to be one of the things talked about. in my gut as i said, enough is enough at this point. what i hope and pray is as we get into the christmas season, the memories of this tragedy fade we don't let this issue recede until six eight nine months, and we see another
tragedy. and the notion that we can simply, you know arm our schools and,aise said earlier is it just public schools? is it parochial schools? is it preschools? would it be our churches? where do you draw the line? >> schieffer: let me ask both of you, i want to shift quickly senator hutchison you're coming back if they call the senate back after christmas. you're get, ready to retire. do you think they're going to get past this fiscal cliff? >> i do. i have an abiding faith that we will not leave-- and this is going to take presidential leadership hands-on leadership-- it's going to take both houses of congress, and everyone to realize we can't let taxes go up on working people in this country, and the bush tax cuts are tax cuts that did help our economy in the beginning. we are in the doldrums now because of the debt and the deficits that are dragging down our economy, as well as the
over-regulation of small business. i think we've got to do something to do a patch now which, clearly on december 27, when mark warner and i go back, it is going to be a patch because in four days, we can't solve everything. >> schieffer: let me ask-- >> but i think we need to stop this fiscal cliff at a reasonable if salary level and then start working on the spending cuts. >> schieffer: about 30 seconds, senator. will there be a small deal? >> i think there's going to, unfortunately, be only a small deal. unless we get to dpowrl trillion we're just kick the hand. we took $4.5 trillion out of the revenue stream. with the bush tax cuts we're only talking about putting a third of that back in. at the same time we doubled defense spend created homeland security, and created a new drug benefit and we're all getting a lot older. we have to realize it takes revenue, spending cut and entitlement reform. >> schieffer: you think they'll get past it? >> i think they will get past it
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or summary prospectus with investment information risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. >> schieffer: sometimes in washington it all comes at once-- the good, the bad the inexplicable. on friday we remembered one of the breast of us at a memorial service for hawaii senator daniel inouye. a true hero who lost his arm in world war ii. one of the last of the greatest generation a man who came to washington before compromise was a dirto dirty word. the service came on a day when we also saw washington at its worst. the president and congressional leaders leaving town after partisanship again prevailed and they were unable to find a way to stave off what could be real economic chaos. and what other word but inexplicable could one use to describe the news conference called by the national rifle association?
inouye's generation will forever be remembered for the common sense, the inner strength that got it through the great depression, and above all the courage. the courage that led it to confront nazism, the greatest evil the world has ever known. the president said he hoped people would drink some egg nog and sing a few christmas carols and then come back to washington and start over on finding ways to solve problems. maybe we could also reflect just fair moment on the courage of inouye's generation and what that has meant to those of us who came after. back in a minute. the data she shares from comments, reviews, and social networks tells a company what to make. what it's made from, how it's shipped, and the way it's sold. some companies are increasing sales up to 20% by using analytics to tailor experiences
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>> schieffer: we welcome now ben affleck film star and director whose new movie "argo" is being mentioned as a strong oscar contender and he is a political activist and founder of eastern congo initiative. he made a sobering appearance before the house armed services committee and told them horrifying statistics about what's happening there, not the least of which is, literally millions of people have died there since 1998. congo is now the deadliest place, the site of deadliest conflict since world war ii. thank you very much for coming. >> thanks for having me. >> schieffer: how did you get interested in congo? >> you know, i got interested because someone years ago-- 2005 or something-- asked me to participate in some philanthropic thing around africa to the except i would hold a kid's hand at the
hospital and have a picture taken and i didn't want to be a-- and with the reading i read there is no tragedy like the one in congo where millions of people have died and it made a big impression on me. i thought if i don't know about this, i'm sure there are others as well. >> schieffer: you went there. you have been there a number of times. teal me about your organization. >> it's called the eastern congo initiative. the first year i learned about it i wanted i want travel. i traveled to a lot of countries and focused on eastern congo ultimately, and we do kind of like a top-town, bottom-up. from the bottom up we do grant making to condolease organizations only, folks already in the area, already working and need the support of resources. and i do a top-down advocacy, like being boog on your show and testifying before the house. >> schieffer: you reveal some
absolutely stung stunning statistics in your testimony-- 900,000 people have been dislocated in the country since january. two out of three women in some areas have been raped. i mean, this might be of must be right now the worst place in the world. >> i would think so, yeah. it's certainly the place where the numbers look the worst. one in five children dies before age of five. you know, as i said, millions have died from war preventable disease, and hunger. so, you know when a place is in in this kind of crisis, and even a small uprise orgwar displaces a million people, you know, it's obviously in as bad a state as you can possibly and be it usually falls one two or three failed state index and it calls out, frankly for our attention our commitment and that's what i'm trying to do. >> schieffer: what did you ask the congress to do? >> the main thing i asked the congress to do is appoint a high-level presidential level envoy, treasurer envoy to the
region. and that would involve basically somebody who really has the ear of the profit united states, and the authority that comes with that to go to the region and deal with the regional actors who are a part of this conflict-- you gawnd arwanda and to try to it convene and bring together western nations as well to look for solutions to some of these problems. we have a lot of 11ers that we can use diplomatically-- i'm not talking about boots on the ground american tax dollars. i'm just talking about paying attention this and using the leverage of the moral authority of the united states to save lives. >> schieffer: that's happen? what would you like to see happen? >> i think the first thing that has to happen is there needs to be security in this country. right now, there is a u.n. peacekeeping force of about 17,000 soldiers that is complete feckless. they really haven't done anything. their mandate is to protect civilians. they haven't done that.
they need a leadership change and a mandate change and they need to be completely reevaluated. in a larger sense, this is a country that needs security sector reform. they have no real functioning army. the army as it exists preys on the population rather than defending. the army is responsible for 40% of the rapes in the country. there is no judicial system, no functioning police system. those are the things that need to be rehabilitated to begin with so you can create a space to develop a civil society. >> schieffer: you know, you are interested in a lot more than film. your new one is a good one. i want to ask you about that, but have you ever thought about running for public office yourself? the reason i say that, this week with mentions of john kerry being possibly the next secretary of state or at least nominated for that, some people have actually written maybe ben affleck ought to run for that seat. >> well, for one thing the state of massachusetts currently
has two extraordinary senatores so there's no-- there is no vacancy. >> schieffer: there might be, though. >> well, one never knows. i'm not one to get into conjecture. i do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country a big deal for me to come down here and be on your show that i've watch so much but i'm not going to get into speculation about my political future. i like to be involved. right now i'm really happy being involved from the outside in government advocating for congo, taking the movie "argo" which has become a springboard for dialogue as our relationship with iran, as hillary which the said the most pressing foreign policy issue today. so i have a lot on my plate. >> schieffer: let's talk a little bit about this movie. i covered the washington end of that when it was all going on, and i must say, tbawfsz sort of overcome by events, later greater events, but that is a wonderful story. and it's pretty much true, the way you told it. i mean, it's pretty accurate as far as the history.
>> yes the story is true. the story is absolutely true. there were these six hostages who escaped the embassy during the takeover, who hid out in the canadian ambassador's residence ultimately rescued by the c.i.a. and trained to pose as a movie crew. i looked at a lot of research footage and i lobbied at your face quite a bit-- you don't look a day older than you did from 32 years ago. it's really exceptional. it's it the inception of our antagonistic relationship with the rug of iran, and it put into events we're looking at now and downtown road and how we will navigate our relationship with iran. >> schieffer: where did you actually film it? >> we filmed it in turkey, actually. when we went to turkey i thought we would get a lot of farsi-speaking perks and virtually none of the iranians would be in the country because they said if we appear in an american-made movie the reprisals on our relatives will be terrible.
i read the bars agency review of the movie. and they had that we did not the in fact, make as much money as reported, but the studio bought $100 million worth of tickets and handed them out to people at random. i'm hoping the studio does that for my next movie too. >> schieffer: i was going to say, do you think we could get them to do something for the ratings here, buy some tv sets or something. >> i loved it. >> schieffer: well, it is a fine movie. and-- >> thank you very very much. >> schieffer: how did you get on to it? >> you know, i-- i was sent the script ands i was a middle eastern study major in college and i had been look at developing a story about the overthrow of the prime minister in iran by the united states and great britain. it was a really compelling story, and then i got this other script about iran and immediately i was drawp to it because it focus on things i was interesting in-- themes about storytelling, about the unintend consequences of revolution. in some way our relationship
with the shaw is revealed to be similar to our relationship with mubarak. they appealed to our pro-western idea of what a leader should look like there and we overlooked the corruption, the croniness, the oppression underneath, and both were overthrown and when both were overthrown the revolutions revolutions that subsequently took place were not necessarily in our best interest. >> schieffer: ben affleck a pleasure to have you and good luck with the movie. when do you go back to the congo? >> in february, and you're welcome to come with me. >> schieffer: thank you. >> thanks very much. >> schieffer: and we'll be right back with the new senator from south carolina, tim scott. first we're gonna check our bags for free, thanks to our explorer card. then, the united club. my mother was so wrong about you. next we get priority boarding on our flight i booked with miles. all because of the card. and me. okay, what's the plan? plan? mm-hmm.
we're on vacation. there is no plan. really? [ male announcer ] the united mileageplus explorer card. the mileage card with special perks on united. get it and you're in. >> schieffer: he will be just the seventh african american senator ever. the first african american senator from the south since reconstruction. considerations congressman. >> thank you. >> schieffer: welcome to "face the nation." i take it you are intending to run for this senate seat in 2014. >> 2014 we'll be back on the ballot yes sir. >> schieffer: how long have you been in the congress gijust got elected to my second term, have been in public office for 18 years serving the good people throughout south carolina. >> schieffer: let me ask you first about the whole business with the national rifle
association. their idea seems basically to be just add armed security to all of our nations' schools. do you think that's feasible or is it a good idea? >> the president has just established a committee to take a serious holistic look at what we need to do as a nation to make sure that our kids are safe. to rush to judgment, i think is a bit premature on what we should do. i think after we have the commit's report, we should take a very serious look at whatever it takes to keep our kids safe at school. we don't know what that is yet. we're just finishing the week of so many funerals, we should-- we should continue to pray for the family members. >> schieffer: but would you be in favor of changing some laws, like, for example banning these assault weapons? >> i would love to see what comes out of the committee. i think with vice president biden putting together a holistic approach to the challenges we face as a nation, looking at the opportunity we have to seriously address all
the issues from mental illness to other issues, understanding what happened and why. after we have those answers we'll be in a much better position to decide the path forward. >> schieffer: let's talk a little bit about the fiscal cliff. you know, the speaker took a deal to the president and then took it to his own caucus, and he didn't have the votes. he couldn't deliver the votes to guarantee his own proposal. what happens now? >> well, i think it's important for us to note that the house has acted already. the house we've passed sequestration on four occasion. we've extend all the tax cuts and now we wait for a response from the other side. we stand prepared to be here in washington whenever the president or the senate has a proposal that we can take and act on. >> schieffer: but, you know, congressman, i mean, with all respect, it seems like both sides are saying, "well we're waiting for them. we're waiting for this.
we're waiting for that." the fact is nothing ever gets done. is this actually going to stand in do you thing congress, democrats, republicans, senate and the house will let us go over this so-called fiscal cliff? >> that's a really good question. it's one of the reasons i'm pretty excited about the fact we already acted. we acted several months ago to extend the tax cuts for all americans. we don't have to go over the cliff. there is a piece of legislation that has passed house which is good-- >> schieffer: well, craig shirley, who is a republican operative tauthor observer, was quoted as saying if we were in a parliamentary system, what happened to speaker boehner would have been viewed as a vote of no confidence. do you think speaker boehner ought to step aside and let somebody else try to get this done? >> speaker boehner will be the speaker next year, without any question. the onus right now is on senator reid and the president to come up with a solution, make it a piece of legislation pass it through the senate, present it to the house and let's get back
to the bargaining table. the american people deserve for both houses to do something and ask the president to sign it. >> schieffer: well, are you saying that the house speaker boehner, should take no responsibility for this impasse that we've come to? isn't some of the onus on him? >> i would say without any question, all year long, we've seen from the leadership in the house, at least a clear line of what we're willing to do. what we haven't seen come out of the senate yet is a single piece of legislation that addresses the crisis. >> schieffer: you know, it's looking like a pretty active political season coming up down there in your home state of south carolina. you're going to have two senate seats open. and now we're hearing that governor-- former governor mark sanford, who left the governorship under a cloud may actually come back and run for his old congressional seat. what do you hear about that? >> my understanding is that we may have 25 or 30 candidates
running for that first congressional district seat. the interesting thing is when you have a special election, people can get involved and have an opportunity to make their case. this is going to be a very active primary. i think it starts some time in late march or early april the citizens of the first district will have an opportunity to have their voice heard through their vote and then two weeks later there will, obviously be a runoff because with that many candidates, we'll have a lot to say grace over. >> schieffer: all right, well, congressman, congratulations on your appointment. >> thank you very much. >> schieffer: we hope we'll see you from time to time to "face the nation." >> thank you bob. >> schieffer: we'll be back in one minute.
>> schieffer: and back now with our political roundtable. mike allen the chief white house correspondent for politico. margaret brennan our state department correspondent. and our chief white house correspondent, major garrett. so gentlemen isn't it a shame we don't have anything really to talk about? nothing much-- >> what a slow news week.
>> schieffer: yeah, slow news week here as we head into christmas. mike, i have to ask you what about this ben affleck for the senate? do you think he might do that? >> i don't upon i think there's a reason senator al franken is one of the few celebrities that actually get into congress but your conversation with him made it clear someone else who wanted to be talked about is ted kennedy jr. cthe senator's son who we are told will announce today or tomorrow whether or not he'll go for senator kerr's seat. >> schieffer: do you think if he doesn't decide to seek that senate seat, do you think he'll try for something else? >> i think so bob. it's a little awkward for him. he lives in connecticut. he summers at hyannis port, actually in president kennedy's old house. we're told it's not a matter of whether he'll run but where. people who saw him at the democratic convention and were struck by how much he was his father's son the booming voice the passion for health care. so if he doesn't go for this
senate seat we think he'll run for something in connecticut down the road. >> schieffer: i think basically on affleck i don't think he'll probably run in the end but i think what he was doing was letting people know he's not shutting the door to the idea. i think the next step he'll look out the window, see if he sees the ground swell out there and if he does, he might do it. >> there's a practical side to all this as well. he knows he's advocating for certain things, and one of the ways to keep his name visible and the advocacy he's pushing is to talk in two different level use hollywood advocacy and possible political candidate. he's trying to, i think leverage both to maintain attention to what he can on the cause he's working on. >> schieffer: this thing in south carolina, where you have the former governor, mark sanford, he of the argentinean walk-- or whatever it was. i guess his former wife has decided she's not going to run. we'll have a lot of politics to cover next year.
no question about that. margaret, let me ask you what is the latest news on benghazi? we had this report out. you had two officials from state department come before the congress. meanwhile, secretary of state clinton remains out of sight recovering from this concushion that she apparently suffered when she fell down because she was diof dehydrated from the stomach virus or something. do we have any more details on how that happened or-- where did she hit her head? do we know? >> or when? >> when? well, it was last saturday that they decided that she-- this concussion was serious enough for her to warrant staying at home. but we don't believe it happened that day in particular. but the timing is, obviously critical in terms of what you're talking about with benghazi because she was supposed to testify this past week. she's since indicated she's willing to do something perhaps, in january with the senate foreign relations and house foreign affairs to answer some of the questions. but in the meantime, this report has come out ben harshly
critical of the state department, and the place is really sort of reeling. i mean you have the top three security fors within diplomatic security forced out the door. and you've got a heck of a job lined up if senator kerry does become the next secretary of state, for him to appoint managers managers who can overhaul security and intelligence at this place. >> schieffer: in all serious do we have any information on this concussion? when it snapped how serious it was? it's just like-- it's just a cone of silence has descend over-- >> her spokesperson has released statements on behalf the doctors who have treated her at george washington university hospital and others. basically, verifying what they have passed on, which is severe dehydration after that whirlwind trip through europe. i was along with her on that. and it was quite a hectic scheduled. after that the stomach bug which others had also, on the trip. overcame her and she suffered this concussion.
it's not clear when she's capitolcoming back. >> margaret, even people in the billion don't know. even people at the top levels of that department are also getting their news from the statements, know very little about what she's doing how she's doing. and what a twist for her. this amazing run unquestioned praisefor four years and all of a sudden this bad report, sort of weird absence politico today reporting that chelsea clinton troops in take a higher role in the next months. she's been doing some charity work through the clinton foundation sandy recovery. >> recovery. >> schieffer: what is she going to do? is she going to run for something, too? >> a lot of democrats hoped she would run fair congressional seat. we're told that's not the case. but she'll be out there sort of as the clinton face, as-- >> this lack of disclosure i think is trouble responsible i really do think there should be more information, more data,
more disclosure about what happened and when it happened and some ability to question those who are treating her. she's a very important government official-- >> she's a clinton. >> from her own perspective if she has a political future, i think this ends her reign-- to pick up mike's point-- in an uncomfortable way. there's a lack of disclosure i think the public looks at and it raises unnecessary questions. >> that isn't to say-- we do get some readouts on our schedule purpose we were told she was placing calls responding to the north korean firing. she's montort syrian crisis. >> schieffer: as far as we know she's working from home. >> she is working from home, and not keeping a public schedule. >> schieffer: i have to ask major, to bring us up to speed on the fiscal cliff and what happens now? >> there are no conservation going on, nothing has happened over weekend. someone senior in the senatorial leadership used a reference to "the princess bride."
this thing is mostly dead. it will take a miracle to revive it. i think even the prospectave small deal grows less and less possible as we come back next week. >> schieffer: well, mark warner just said he thinks there will be a smaller deal. what is he talking about? >> what is a small deal? what can get 60 votes in the senate and what can pass the house? even if you just do something agreeable on tax rates, you have to nut an estate tax an alternative minimum tax. there's the whole medicare doc things that has to be texed there. ever single things that its own internal complications for voting and passage, on the smallest most minimal measure. no one is talking this weekend so you can't do anything unless you're talking. >> even the polls show the republicans are going to take had more blame if we go over the cliff, and around here they're saying merry cliffness. there is no reason for congress to come back this week. but this creates a real problem for the president.
one, if we go over the cliff the white house is truly concerned about what the unknown effects will be on the economy on the stock market, but here's an even bigger thing it's president hoped to get some things done in january. in his first 100 days. he hoped to do now now firearm controls it immigration. and now whatever hopes for big tax reform are derailed. >> schieffer: when is the new congress sworn? i know for the president it's january 20. they come in on the third right? >> yes. republicans now look at the expose say it's probably not going to get much worse for us, but it could get worse for the president, so let's go off the cliff and see him take some of the blame because it will be apportioned differently after we go over because he in fact-- >> schieffer: you really think they would allow this to happen? >> absolutely. they expect it to happen. >> i didn't a week ago. i thought a week ago, this was
coming together and all the conservation were specific and moving in a direction. and then it stopped and it hasn't had one ounce of life sense about tuesday. >> and for wall street, the perception is almost more important than the reality that you're talking about here. i mean, some sources on the street say exactly that. when you look to be dysfunctional to the world that's what's going to matter. and you're going to see that reflected when we come back to an open market after the holiday. >> schieffer: well othat happy note, i have to thank you tall, wish you the best of season. >> merry christmas. >> schieffer: we'll be back in a moment.